Google earth image of the Midwest region, encompassing Wisconsin, Illinois, and the Great Lakes.

Quantum Economy

NSF Engine: Advancing quantum technologies in the Midwest 

A cross-sector coalition led by the Chicago Quantum Exchange leads a $1 million US National Science Foundation Regional Innovation Engines (NSF Engines) Development Award to deepen partnerships and strengthen workforce and economic development plans for the Midwest's growing quantum ecosystem. 

The aim: to grow the region that stretches from central Wisconsin to central Illinois into one of the world’s foremost quantum innovation and economic zones.


A Program that Unleashes Ideas

The two-year NSF Engines Development Awards aim to unleash ideas, talent, pathways, and resources as regional economies grow through through research and partnerships. These awards are part of the broader NSF Engines program, which supports projects across key technology and challenge areas identified in the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022. Among these are quantum technologies, an emerging field with the potential to revolutionize multiple industries by enabling world-changing innovations that strengthen economic and national security.

A Project that Seeds Future Growth

Through this development award, the CQE-led team will build data-driven strategies in two critical areas: translating quantum innovation into practice and building an inclusive quantum workforce. Activities will include community workshops; the development of forecast reports, asset maps, and other critical data; and partner engagement. This work will foster sustainable ecosystem growth and provide the roadmap for a future NSF Engines application, which may provide up to $160 million in funding for the region.

  • Learn more about Advancing quantum technologies in the Midwest

A Region that is Ready

Chicagoland is already a key driver of US leadership in quantum technologies, and this development award will leverage our world-leading expertise, unparalleled government investment, and diverse industry base to ensure that the US reaps the benefits of this emerging field.

Advancing quantum technologies in the Midwest

Two key areas of focus

Join Us

Regional and CQE community organizations are invited to join monthly meetings on the first Friday of each month.

If interested in getting involved or joining a meeting, please email